Zapping Zits?

There is no laser that targets acne now, but that may change in the future.

Researchers at The Wellman Center for Photomedicine in Boston are developing such a laser, Director Dr. R. Rox Anderson said.

Dr. R. Rox Anderson (photo by D. McNamara)

“Can we cure acne? We have better odds than a Red Sox game,” Dr. Anderson said at the annual meeting of the Florida Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery.

Turns out the sebaceous glands that goes into overdrive with acne are best targeted by a laser set to a 1210 nm or, especially, a 1726 nm wavelength. And the territory is not new–the sebaceous gland is located in the same hair cell that is the target of hair removal lasers. Only one problem: no laser on the market features these wavelengths.

“So I packed my bags and headed to the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator in Virginia … which can tune to any wavelength,” Dr. Anderson said. Together with Dr. Fernanda Sakamoto, a fellow in my lab, we got nice histology with topical pulses in human skin at 1720 nm … [from] selective heating of the sebaceous gland.”

The technology is being refined at Wellman. Dr. Anderson said, “I”m hoping to tell you at some point in the future there will be a laser for acne.”

–Damian McNamara, @MedReporter on Twitter
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Filed under Dermatology, Family Medicine, IMNG, Pediatrics, Primary care, The Mole

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